January 5, 2011

The Unintended Consequences of Waking Up Early…

Posted in CBSP, Spirituality at 7:16 am by Katie

It’s 7:04 am, and I’m blogging.

Yes, I have to go to work today.  Yes, I did sleep (take that, insomnia!).  Yes, I am already showered, dressed, and ready to go.

Yes, I already spent time in the Word this morning.

So…what gives?  Haha.

Well, I’ve discovered the unintended consequence of waking up early and having my quiet time…at 5 am.

Yes…5 am.

Let me just throw a few things out there:

1.  I am by no means a morning person.  Please ask the majority of my friends.  I sincerely dislike waking up early.  I enjoy my sleep.  I am only at work early every morning because I also sincerely dislike being late AND I tend to overestimate how much time I need to battle Cola traffic, find a parking place, and take the shuttle to my office.  Plus, if I leave early, I get a better parking spot.  It’s a win-win.

2.  I also hate having a time limit on my quiet time.  Before the break, I tried waking up at 5:30, having my coffee, and then doing my quiet time.  By the time I settled in, it was 5:40, and then I was constantly looking at the clock because I knew I had to be in the shower by 6.  Because of this, I was more focused on the time limit of my time with God instead of my time with Him.

3.  The morning is the only uninterrupted time I have to spend with the Lord.  If I schedule it for later in the day, it never gets done.  Trust me, I’ve tried (please refer back to #1…I like my sleep!)

So, this year, in the spirit of New Year’s, I decided that I would hop on the early morning bandwagon.  By waking up at 5, I’m settled with my coffee (clearly a necessity at 5 am), my Bible, and my journal by 5:15 at the latest.  That gives me a full 45 minutes with God.

I love it.  Not only can I accomplish what I want to in my quiet time, but I can also read encouraging emails and devotions I receive each day instead of waiting until later.  I can check on blogs that encourage me and inspire me while I’m already in the correct mindset.  I can journal my prayers and put the time and thought into them that they deserve.

So, the unintended consequence of waking up at 5 am (since, you know, that’s where this post started…)

Well, I don’t hit snooze.  So I’m actually out of bed at 5 am.

Which means I’m done with my quiet time by 6.

Which means that this morning, by the time I was showered and dressed and headed into the kitchen to fix lunch, etc…it was 6:35.

But you know what?  I probably won’t wake up any later.  Because having all that time is pretty nice.

 

Side note to this whole conversation about waking up early – I got to talk to several of my project loves last night on Skype.  I went to bed with my heart so happy I could hardly stand it.

July 24, 2010

The One That Says Thank You

Posted in CBSP at 11:51 pm by Katie

Disclaimer:  Parts of this may not make any sense unless you were on project.

Oh, CBSP…first of all, I love each and every single one of you oh so much.  There are so many things I wanted to say to y’all on Wednesday night, but there was no way anything was coming out without me crying more than I already was, haha.  So, this is an open letter to y’all to say all the things I wanted to say.

I’m not going to lie…I was pretty nervous the entire drive down to Clearwater.  I kept thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?”  I definitely didn’t think I was ready to spend an entire summer growing in my walk with the Lord, and as excited as I had been throughout the entire process, those last couple of days the nerves got the best of me.  But from the moment I stepped into the courtyard at the North Sunrise, all those fears and nerves completely left me.  I don’t think I’ve ever experienced so much love in five minutes, haha.  I know that a lot of us felt pretty overwhelmed that first day, myself included, but it was a good overwhelmed – more of a comfort than anything else.

Logan, Kristin, Kevin, and Will – I still laugh when I think about y’all passing me on the interstate in Georgia.  How appropriate that y’all basically took me in that first night.  It was like, oh, instant friends!  From heading to the beach that first afternoon to our first (of many, many, MANY) Target run that night, I am so grateful that you let me into your UTC circle and let me tag along those first couple of days.

Other memories of that first day include sitting on the incredibly hot area around the pool eating pizza, Ryan informing me that he wouldn’t forget my last name because it was the same as his girlfriend’s, being excited that Katie had on a Carolina shirt (yeah, it was the wrong Carolina…oh well, haha) and that Jenna was from Western.  I remember going to bed that night knowing that it was going to be an amazing summer.

Staff, let’s face it…y’all are just amazing.  I feel so blessed to have been surrounded by so many loving, caring individuals for the first part of project.  I especially appreciated so many examples of beautiful godly marriages, especially since that’s something that I haven’t had a lot of.  Just seeing the love that y’all had for each other and for your children was such a wonderful blessing and made me look forward to that part of my life that much more.

Lindsey and Mikel – I just love you both.  You were amazing LifeGroup leaders, and I so appreciate the way you invested in all of us from the start.  Lindsey, I’m glad we found out that we were the same person in a lot of ways, that you asked questions and pushed me further to open up more, and that you listened to my ridiculously long seven-minute testimony in Clear Sky, haha.  I also can’t thank you enough for encouraging me through the job search and supporting me financially through those hard times.  And, I have your address permanently memorized…haha.  Mikel, you know we loved your desserts…haha.  But I also loved getting to spend time with you and your family, playing with your girls, and getting to know you better.  I’m excited to be making some of your recipes…once I figure out where I packed them…haha.

Ashley – thank you for being our family mom…keeping our crazy family in line…encouraging us to build crazy Play-Dough farms (LOOAS!)…and just being so fun.  I love that we both know Niki, that we both love her hugs, and that Jenna and I could help you with your hug face, haha.

To all of my fellow students – you all are just so amazing.  There aren’t even words to describe it.  Thank you for letting me be the mom, not making me feel crazy awkward for being the oldest, and loving on me all the time.  Thank you for all the crazy memories – fat Fridays, driving around searching for jobs, random people at 4th of July fireworks, paying people $10 to be buried in the sand to win the scavenger hunt, SO. MUCH. RAIN, sharing with people on the beach and sharing those stories with one another, pirates vs. ninjas, serving at Pinellas Hope, P. Randy & Big Al…CHAINS BE BROKEN, being incredibly tacky at tacky prom…there are so many more.  But more importantly, thank you for being beautiful examples of loving the Lord whenever I needed it.  It was so incredibly encouraging to be surrounded by so many people who just love the Lord and to share in that.

To the roomies of room six – You girls are just so amazing.  I love y’all so, so, so much.  Katlyn and your peanut butter addiction, Logan being my daughter, Kristy and your ridiculous sleeping and waking up habits, and Chelsea with all of our drives and adventures around Clearwater, Largo, etc.  I cannot wait to hear about the amazing things God is doing in each of your lives.  I hope you know how special you all are to me.

To the amazing evangelism team – I’m so encouraged by each and every one of you.  I’m so amazed at how we all worked together so well to plan events.  I’ve learned so much from each of you.  Jordan, thanks so much for doing the hard questions stuff.  I learned so, so much going through that with you and Jon, Katlyn, and Chelsea.

To my beautiful LifeGroup girls – thank you so much.  Katie, Susie, Morgan, and Kourtney – thanks for hearing all my junk that very first Sunday and still loving me regardless.  Thanks for growing with me and loving on me week in and week out.  Alison, Kristin, Kourtney, and Misha – thanks for making us the best combined LifeGroup ever, for growing with me even more, and thanks to all of you for Serious Cookie my last night.  That was so, so special and so fun to spend a lot of my last night with y’all.

There’s probably something I could say about every single one of you, because you each touched my heart in some way over the course of the summer.  Thank you all so much for my card and everything from my last night on project.  You have no idea how much your encouraging words mean to me.  It’s currently sitting here in my room in my apartment, just waiting for a good place to be put on display.

Please know that y’all are more than welcome in Columbia at any time.  If you need anything, please, please, please call, text, Skype, whatever me.  I will always be the mom whenever you need me to be!  Enjoy the rest of your time on project, keep me updated on all the fun stuff that happens, and enjoy the rest of college.  I know I’ve said it before, but it goes by so, so fast.  Cherish it and don’t wish it away, because you’re going to miss it once it’s gone.

I’ll leave you with my prayer for each one of you:

“I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.  God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.” – Phillippians 1:3-11

July 10, 2010

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself…

Posted in CBSP at 2:59 am by Katie

Oh man…so yeah, no update in a LONG time. I apologize. Project life is just one crazy, busy, hectic mess…but it’s a beautiful, amazing mess, just like we are.

Job…or lack thereof: So, Things Remembered didn’t work out. The lady was very interested in me, but it was only going to be 10-15 hours a week in St. Pete, which is a good 30-45 minutes away, so it just wasn’t worth it. So, I went to the temp agency and after about a week received a job with Hit Promotions – basically a factory job. I did this for a week…on my feet, 8-9 hours a day, catching bags off of a dryer and counting and boxing them. Long, hard, hot, miserable work…but doable. However, that first weekend, my right knee was hurting and swollen. By Monday, it was to the point where I couldn’t bend down – a big part of my job. I called in and went to the doctor, who informed me I have patellofemoral pain syndrome…which, from what I understand, boils down to this: The angle between my hip, knee, and ankle (called a Q-angle, apparently) is over 12 degrees, which causes my knee cap to slide around. Because of this, and the added strain of being on my feet for 30+ hours that first week, my knee had swollen up under my knee cap. It’s something I’ve always had; it just hasn’t bothered me really up until this point. The doctor asked if I had ever felt like my knee was weak or going to give out when going up and down stairs or bending, which it had – and that’s a sign of this syndrome. Anyway, the consensus was to quit the job because of all the added strain. Unfortunately, this came at a time in project where I only had about 3 weeks left, so finding another job was a little out of the question. So, now I’m just doing as much as I can to provide rides for people to and from work and serve as much as possible around the motel. It’s definitely stressful because I am SUPER broke, haha, and stressing about move-in expenses, etc. But, I’m trusting that this is what God had planned for me this summer all along and that He will provide.

In this, I think that God is actually using me not having a job to strengthen my quiet times with Him. Not having a job means I have plenty of time to devote to being in the Word, reflecting on what He is teaching me, etc. My quiet times have always been an area of struggle for me, just because it’s hard for me to be consistent, but over the past week to week-and-a-half, my quiet times have been amazing. I’m going through the One Year Bible reading plan, which I am woefully behind on, but I’m just keeping with it, per the wise Mary Storie’s instructions. I also receive M-F devotions from Proverbs 31 Ministries. Yesterday, the P31 devotion discussed all of the little, menial things that we, as women, do around the house that are sometimes just so frustrating – dishes, laundry, cleaning, etc. But, instead of getting caught in those moments, it’s important to remember that we are handpicked by God, even if we feel overlooked by everyone else, just as David was handpicked by God to become king in 1 Samuel 16. This is just huge for me, because even though I love serving others, it gets to the point where I just get frustrated by it. So, remembering that I am handpicked by God to do these tasks is a wonderful and much-needed reminder.

Other Lessons from God: The biggest thing I’ve learned this summer is just to put my identity in Christ instead of other people. The Lord has really convicted me in this area over the course of the summer. I’m such a people-pleaser, and I went through high school and college just wanting to fit into a group and be wanted and accepted. God has shown me that in stripping away some of these friendships and relationships, He was showing me that I didn’t need these relationships to feel worth; all I needed was Him. Am I sad that a lot of my high school and college friendships are no longer what they once were? Of course. But I’m beginning to learn the lessons that God was weaving through these and use these to build on future friendships and relationships.

Evangelism: Y’all…I came on this project SCARED TO DEATH to go talk to people about my faith. I knew how awkward and touchy it was talking to friends back at home and in Kentucky, so how much more awkward would it be on the beach to people that I did not even know? But the Lord has completely blown me away in this area. Even though I still hate approaching people and determining who I’m going to talk to…once I get into a conversation, I am set. Sure, I don’t have all the knowledge or answers, but I have exactly what God and the Holy Spirit give me, and that’s really all I need.

I purposely chose the Evangelism Team as one of my ministry team choices to force me to step out of my comfort zone, and I have just loved my role on this team. In addition to straight-up evangelism on the beach, we also did an outreach with big sandwich boards covered in 4 big questions, “Who is God? Who is Jesus? What is love?…” and I’ve forgotten the other one ’cause we talked about two. I want to say it was, “What is the meaning of life?” … or “What is truth?” … or um, yeah, I don’t know. Haha. Anyway, we had these set out on the beach, available for people to come and write their answers on and then used these answers to get into conversations. We also did one outreach at Pinellas Hope, which is basically a tent city for homeless in Pinellas County, FL. We partnered with our church here to serve these precious people and provide them with a hot meal. Even though I was serving and cleaning up most of the time and didn’t get into many conversations, it was just amazing to hear the stories that others shared. We are doing two more outreaches with this organization in the coming weeks, which I am so excited for.

Leadership Roles & Staff Leaving: We are so blessed to have wonderful, wise staff leaders to spend half of the summer with us, but at that point they turn the reins over to us and leave us to run the project ourselves. My leadership role for project is operations/finance, which I share with another student here. Basically, we are in charge of the money and making sure project doesn’t fall apart, haha.

Transition night was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. In John 13, we see Jesus washing the feet of His disciples in a beautiful display of love. After staff leadership had announced our student project directors and assistant directors, they proceeded to wash the feet of the newly named LifeGroup leaders, who then washed the feet of their LifeGroup members. It was just such a stunning display to see that played out in person and to pray together. When we transition, the girls’ LifeGroups combine, and so we prayed together as a combined group for the first time that night. I can’t even express to you the emotions that were felt that night, except that there was much crying, loving, hugging, and prayer.

Fun! Oh y’all…we know how to have a good time, haha. Right after staff left, we had like…four solid days of rain. Oh my goodness…do NOT put 41 students in a hotel where it rains for four days. The first day we actually had sun…well, let’s just say I spent two days outside by the pool or at the beach. Other random things that have occurred…

  • Fat Fridays – the gas station down the street offers a special with a large cheese or pepperoni pizza and a 1 liter of pop for $6. Aka…fat Friday.
  • Free Chik-Fil-A…why yes, 25 of us did dress up as cows and went and got a free combo meal at Chik-Fil-A tonight. Haha. AMAZING!
  • Crazy random trips around Clearwater to random locations…Goodwill and Salvation Army? Okay.
  • Round and round the circle of death aka roundabout…ohhhhh man.
  • All you can eat spaghetti and breadsticks for $5.50
  • Being a kid, eating dinosaur chicken nuggets and chocolate pudding cups
  • Going through 11 gallons of sun tea since I’ve been down here
  • Permanently being known as project mom and Jordan’s personal assistant
  • Raft adventures in the ocean with Morgan and Stephanie

And so, so, so many more. Including an apparent Sonic trip that is about to occur.

Anyway, I need to wrap this up, but I just wanted to (finally) update y’all on what’s going on. I love you all so much and miss you guys!

Katie ❤

Oh yeah! I finally uploaded more pics to Facebook, so here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2182980&id=48211371&l=16c7335e1b

June 14, 2010

“For greater things have yet to come & greater things are still to be done in this city…”

Posted in CBSP at 3:06 am by Katie

So, I apologize for the lack of blog updates for a bit.  It’s been a crazy past week, and I feel like whenever I have free time, I don’t want to be on my computer, haha.
On the job front – God has definitely shown himself to be so faithful this past week.  We started out the week with 25 or 27 students without jobs, and now we are down to just 5.  This week, staff members went out hunting with us, and we just really changed our heart about searching for jobs, and the Lord definitely provided.  I still don’t have a job – I’m one of the fab five, haha.  I had two interviews this week, but they didn’t pan out.  However, I have an interview at Things Remembered at the mall tomorrow at 2.  The manager had called Shelby (one of the girls here on project) about wanting to hire her, but Shelby got a job this week.  So, she called her back and said that she knew of someone that had retail experience (thank you, EKU Bookstore, haha).  Basically, I ran out there before 5 (this was around 4-4:15), met with the manager, picked up an application, and was told to bring it back to an interview Monday…as in, I haven’t even filled it out yet.  So, it definitely sounds promising, and I’m hopeful that I will have a job soon!  But, continued prayers for myself and the other four students without jobs would be much appreciated!
As far as project life…it seems crazy that this was our fourth Sunday here!  It was our fourth Sunday at Grace, the church we’re attending, and Pastor Randy has been doing a series on the book of Esther.  I just love Pastor Randy, haha.  He cracks me up, and I love how he just always has a great message every week…and how he likes to pick on us Crusade students, lol.  His sermons have been great so far, and I’m glad I still have many more to hear!
Last night, we had the “Argh, Shake Your Booty Ninja/Pirate Dance Party.”  As in…we all dressed like pirates and ninjas.  Yes, I was a ninja.  It was hysterical and a blast…and we danced for about 3 hours straight, haha.  PS – according to SparkPeople, that’s around 2,000 calories.  Just saying.  However, we were all a struggle at church this morning, lol.  Sadly, those pirates/pi-rats won the games section…but let’s face it, ninjas are still cooler 😉  I also learned that Mr. Eric Rodgers himself knows all the words to Gettin’ Jiggy With It and is somewhat of a Will Smith fanatic, and I made Jenna’s jaw drop with my rapping of Live Your Life…thank you, Allison Bullins, for your great teaching and many practice sessions in LaRocko, haha.  I’ll try to make some pics appear soon – I didn’t take any because everyone was doing such a great job taking them, so I’ll stalk some off Facebook and post them with due credit, lol.
This week’s evangelism event was different than our usual – go out on the beach with Solariums and get into conversations – method.  We put up two sandwich boards with four questions on the beach so that people could write their thoughts on them.  The four questions were, “Who is God?  What is love?  Who is Jesus?  What is the purpose of life?”  I think it went pretty well, even though I feel like I’m a lot more effective at just straight-up initiative evangelism – which is so weird, because I’ve learned so much and just gotten so much better at that in the short time I’ve been here.  If you would’ve told me four weeks ago that I would be completely fine going up to random people on the beach and engaging in spiritual conversations with them, I would have told you you were cray cray (that’s for you, project friends…aka crazy for the rest of the world, lol).  But it’s just become so EASY.  The hardest part for me is actually picking a person, but after that, it’s not at all hard to initiate and get into conversation.  Now, I just have to get better at talking to people I actually know…about that, lol.
Well, I need to hop off here, eat some dinner, and get ready for our ministry team meeting and praise and worship on the beach…by far one of the neatest and most fabulous things about this project.  Hopefully, the next time I post I’ll be employed, haha.
Love you all!

June 3, 2010

Just job hunting…

Posted in CBSP at 5:50 pm by Katie

So, the job hunt continues.  It’s kind of frustrating just because we don’t really know where to look.  We kind of feel like we’ve canvased everything.  Today I called back Torrid and Lane Bryant at the mall, where I dropped off applications on Monday.  Torrid said they’d already called back everyone they wanted for interviews (aka not me, lol), and Lane Bryant said they weren’t looking at applications until next week – Sarah said she heard next Wednesday.  I’m also CraigsList-ing like it’s my job…which it kind of is right now, lol.  But I think today I’m gonna take a break in a couple of hours and head to the beach for a little bit before family dinners & women’s time tonight.

Somehow, my team won the scavenger hunt Saturday night…now, don’t ask us how because we didn’t find hardly any of the staff, but we did finish everything on the list, haha.  So, I am now the owner of a sweet, bright yellow Rita’s shirt…you know you’re jealous 😉  Some of us girls had girl talk at McDonald’s, complete with $1.00 sundaes and sweet tea, after our weekly meeting on Monday, and that was a lot of fun – yay for girl talk with Chelsea, Morgan, Amber, Logan, and Katlyn…yes, we were all in Chelsea’s car, haha.

Tuesday night I had my first dship time with Lindsey, which was a lot of fun.  I feel like Lindsey and I are very similar, so we have a lot of good conversations.  We went to the motel office to do Solarium with one of the property managers, Jill, but then just ended up getting into a really good spiritual conversation with her.  She is a very involved Jehovah’s Witness, so it was interesting to see where our beliefs were similar and where they differed.  Then, Tuesday night was our first personal reflection night.  While I really wanted to go to the beach, I figured I would get distracted by the amazing sunset, so I opted for the sun deck here at the motel.  I will say – a 2.5 hour date with Jesus can be kind of hard.  I did really well for the first hour and a half, and then I was just like, “Lord…I’m TIRED.  It’s 8:45.  I’ve been up all day trying to job search.  My eyes are crossing from doing applications on the computer all day.  The last thing I want to do is sit up here and spend another hour reading and such.”  So, I really just kind of sat up there, looked up at the stars, and just tried to put myself back into perspective.

I turned to Ecclesiastes by sheer chance and got to 3:1-8 (which I was going to put in here, but this is not playing nice, haha).  But basically, my thoughts turned to the fact that this is just a season.  Yes, I don’t have a job, and yes, this is frustrating and irritating and all those words, but this too will pass.  God will provide just as he always has before.  So, I’m trying not to be frustrated and just trusting in the fact that it will all be okay.

So now, I’m hanging out in the lounge (where I can use my computer + get internet + watch Mizzou softball) CraigsListing away.  I get to watch Daniel and Mikel’s girls tomorrow night, which I’m really excited about  because they’re pretty much fabulous.  I’m planning on going to the beach here after a while since I haven’t been since Sunday…eek.

So, for now just prayers for jobs for ALL of us would be appreciated.  Prayers for support would also be appreciated – it’s all due on June 30 and I’m still pretty short.

Love you all =)

May 31, 2010

“This will be a good blog post!” – Kristin

Posted in CBSP at 8:12 pm by Katie

The title refers to Kristin’s response when we found out our fate today…haha.  We had all worked Thursday and Friday, but we didn’t have a schedule for this week.  So, we had called Oksana, our boss, to ask her about the schedule.  She didn’t answer, but she called Logan back Sunday night around 10 and asked her to come in at 10 this morning and then to have the rest of us come in at 10:30.  In my heart, I felt like this was going to be bad news…and it was.  Basically, she just said that she couldn’t give us all hours and that she had to let all of us go (minus Logan).  So, Erin, Kristin, Katie and I are all on the job hunt once again.  There are still a LOT of us on project that don’t have jobs yet, so just keep us all in your prayers as we continue to go out and hunt.  Several of the people who thought they had jobs at Surf Style were also let go last night, so it’s definitely a hard time at the moment.  Katie, Erin, Katlyn and I all went out to the mall today to try and apply, so I turned in applications at Torrid and Lane Bryant.

It’s not all bad news though!  Friday was our free night, and a bunch of people cooked out, which was fun and yummy.  Then, we just kinda hung out…played Apples to Apples, went to the beach, etc.

Saturday was our day to do our first outreach project on the beach.  We planned to go out starting at 1 with Solarium to try and get into spiritual conversations.  However, right as we were planning to go out, the rain started, and we had about an hour of thunderstorms.  But it was still good because it allowed us some time to practice with one another.  Then, we went out at 2:30 to try again.  Susie and I went together and talked to three girls from (where else) Kansas…as in, from Lawrence where KU is, haha.  They had just finished their junior year of high school and were down on vacation with one of their moms.  We went through Solarium with them, and they all had really good responses to the questions.  It transitioned really easily into the KGP (Knowing God Personally), but they were getting ready to go inside, so we didn’t get a chance to go through it with them.  But we exchanged contact information, and I am hoping and praying that they would call before they leave on Thursday.

Friday night we went on a crazy scavenger hunt of Clearwater.  It was so much fun, even though I was crazy sandy and wet by the end of it.  But it was finished off with mango AND the coveted strawberry Ritas Italian ice – delish!

Memorial Day traffic really hit on Sunday when we went to church and then came back after hitting up Target for food.  Last night was our first Praise and Worship on the beach, which was absolutely amazing!  And then came all the job craziness today, haha.

So, I’m about to work on more online applications and hopefully something will come through!  As always, I’m still short on support, so if you’d like to contribute – PLEASE let me know =)

Love you all!

May 29, 2010

First day of work & sunset pics

Posted in CBSP at 3:42 pm by Katie

This place continues to just blow me away.  I love, love, love it…so much =)

Yesterday was my first day of work.  I was at the Surf Style in Treasure Island, which is about 30-45 minutes away.  It’s a super nice store, and the people are all really friendly, so I didn’t mind being so far away at all.  However, it was VERY slow…I only did like 4 hennas and another body ink tattoo.  But, I did get into some really good conversations!  A guy named Jeremy came up and was asking me about what I was doing, why I was just there for the summer, etc.  I told him about CRU and our project, and he was just so impressed that we were down here for the whole summer spreading the Word and do outreach.  He asked my name, put his hand on my shoulder, and said he was going to go out to his car right then and pray for all of us.  I asked if he had any prayer requests, and then he shared that he was recovering from a stroke and had had memory loss, some trouble with movement, etc.

The other good conversation I had was with a gentleman who was getting a henna to fake out his daughter, haha.  They were in from Indiana, and when I asked why, he shared that his father (or father-in-law…I forget) had had open heart surgery, but that he was doing well and giving all the nurses a hard time…reminds me of my grandpa and my dad, haha.

I came back and we cooked out as a project – thanks to Kristy, Allison, Nicole, and whoever else went to go get the food and the boys for cooking it!  Afterwards, a bunch of us went to the beach for the sunset…it was the first time I was there for the entire thing, and it was just amazing!  Pictures are posted on Facebook, and here’s the link:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2182980&id=48211371&l=16c7335e1b

Here’s a sneak preview:

Mid-sunset

Today we are doing our first outreach on the beach using Solarium.  I’m really excited to get out there – plus it’s kinda cloudy, so it’s not super hot yet, haha…considering we’ll be out there for an hour and a half.  Then we have some sort of secret community group thing tonight…haha.

Love you all & I’ll keep updating as I can…this post brought to you by Chelsea’s mac =)

May 27, 2010

CBSP = Love

Posted in CBSP at 3:26 pm by Katie

There are barely words to describe what an amazing experience this has already been, and I’ve only been here since Saturday.  I now understand why this place holds such a special place in the hearts of so many people!  Because I want to keep you all updated, I decided that actually creating a blog would be the most efficient way of doing so.  Now, I can’t guarantee how often I’ll be able to blog – we can’t get internet in our room, and my computer refuses to work without battery power, so I can’t go out in the courtyard and use it.  But, I’ll update whenever I can steal one of my roommates’ laptops (like right now, while Logan’s at work – thanks girl!).

The people and staff on project are absolutely wonderful.  It’s so funny to hear our random conversations as we try to figure out how we are all connected – and there are some crazy connections out there!  One of our student staff is someone that went on project with my friend Nikki from Eastern; the UTC people know Kim, Mackey, Megan, and Bo from when they went down for planning weekend; and I had a conversation about Missouri joining the Big 10 with one of the property managers of the motel, who happens to be from Michigan. 

I was fortunate enough to land a job on the first day of our job hunt.  Myself and four other girls are working at Surf Style as henna tattoo artists/hair wrappers.  I know – crazy job, right?  Not at all what I expected to be doing for 8 weeks, but the Lord has decided to use me there!  The really encouraging thing is that there will be a lot of time to talk and get into conversations with people as I do their tattoos or wrap their hair.  Plus, we’re pretty sure that everyone on project is going to have at least one hair wrap as a result of all of us practicing!  We’ll be working 3-4 days a week from 10-5.  While we were blessed with a job quickly, there are still several others who are still searching, so pray that the Lord will provide them with jobs quickly and that they will not be discouraged.

I’m currently working on marking things off the “Top 10 Things to Do in Clearwater” list that the JAB left me here when they visited.  I’m not gonna lie, I almost cried when I read their letter and saw my goodie bag full of stuff.  It was so sweet to have little presents waiting for me, and I can’t thank you girls enough for that shot of encouragement right off the bat!  So far, I’ve eaten at one Frenchey’s, had one Ritas trip after one of our meetings with oh, most of project, went around and around the circle of death (aka the roundabout) more times than I’ve wanted to, and enjoyed my first of many Clearwater sunsets =)

One of my personal goals is now to be on the beach every day, haha.  I missed Sunday, but I’m determined to be down there every day til I have to leave.  How many more opportunities am I going to have to be living a block from the beach for eight weeks?  I want to make the most of it!  I saw my first Clearwater sunset last night with my Life Group girls…and took our first picture =)  Now, unfortunately I haven’t managed to take ANY pictures yet…but don’t worry, the camera batteries are charged and I plan on taking some today since I am off.

Let’s see…other random tidbits and facts about my time in Clearwater so far:

  • The trees in the courtyard are apparently a thriving ground for these little caterpillars, and they like to crawl all over you.  I feel like if I’m sitting outside I say caterpillar on a regular basis because they are EVERYWHERE!  Also, the palm trees have some kind of sap that they drop…or if you’re Logan, it’s raining chocolate…hahaha.
  • We happen to be one of the last motels down the beach for a ways, so there aren’t very many people on the beach where we are, which is nice.  We sat out on the beach at like 10:30 the other night just talking and sharing with one another.  The water here is also so calm and shallow – definitely a change from Myrtle Beach last summer, where Travis struggled to get me in the water at all, haha.
  • Probably also because of the previous fact, there are shells EVERYWHERE.  My shell hoarding habits haven’t reared their ugly head yet…but I’m sure they will.
  • There are like, 11 kids here on project with the staff, and something like 7-8 of them are girls.  Little kids running around everywhere?  LOVE IT!  They are so precious and fun =)
  • The Catch Phrase craziness has already happened and will again soon, I’m sure.
  • We are enjoying showing the Southern experience to our girls from the North…and made Susie a “Things to Do in the South” list.  I’m happy to report that they have eaten their first Chik-Fil-A.

All in all…this place is amazing.  God is definitely already at work here, just in building our friendships with each other and providing knowledge for the staff as they train us in being more effective in sharing our faith and growing in our walk with the Lord.  I’m on the evangelism ministry team, which was my second choice but is definitely the area in which I need to grow.  One of the guys on our team challenged us to memorize the verses in the KGP, which I’m really excited about starting.

I’m still pretty short on my support.  If you are considering supporting me, please just let me know and I will give you all the details you need.  Or, if you just want to write me a letter or want me to send you a beautiful postcard of this amazing place, let me know!

I love and miss you all and hope your summers are starting off amazingly!  God bless all of you =)